REVIEW: Party Skills for the End of the World (Manchester International Festival – Centenary Building, Salford)

Party Skills for the End of the World. Manchester International Festival 2017 © Donald Christie
Party Skills for the End of the World.
Manchester International Festival 2017
© Donald Christie
upstaged rating:

If the world was close to its end -how would you spend your final hours?

Storm clouds are gathering as the world teeters on the edge. It’s time to look at all the good things in life – and the fear that stops us enjoying them…

Nigel Barrett and Louise Mari of Shunt Theatre have created this immersive, chaotic and high-spirited performance to help you get by when the end of the world is nigh. Party Skills for the End of the World asks us to celebrate our experiences and our individuality and resist the fear that stifles our enjoyment of living.

Party Skills for the End of the World is a site-specific show, set in the corridors, labs and vaults of Salford’s Centenary Building, which blurs the boundaries between performance and spectatorship. Who are the performers here and who are the audience? And arguably, one of the strengths of this show – is that you never really know.

Learn how to make a gas mask at Party Skills for the End of the World © Donald Christie
Learn how to make a gas mask at Party Skills for the End of the World
© Donald Christie

Strike up a conversation with a fellow party-goer as you learn the art of making the perfect martini; follow the lively crowd as you are ushered through corridors to the sound of the Latino beat. You’ve never hit a piñata? Well now is your chance. Learn how to stitch using a surgical needle. But don’t get too comfortable – it won’t be long until you transported further through the wild, vibrant but volatile performance space.

You might want to learn how to make a light bulb, throw a punch or navigate your way using the night sky. For well-being and relaxation, you may prefer to create a bouquet of paper flowers or indulge in a spot of balloon modelling. There’s a thought-provoking sermon flanked by drummers and dancing. This is intelligent, immersive performance on a grand scale.

Party Skills for the End of the World is an innovative experience and as a member of the audience – the more you contribute to the performance, the more you get out. The performance stays with you long after you have left the wild confines of the Centenary Building and certainly fuels a conversation that carries on long after the dancing has ended.

-Kristy Stott

Party Skills for the End of the World runs until 16th July 2017 and is being performed as part of Manchester International Festival 2017. Full listings for the festival can be found by clicking here.

 

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Party Skills for the End of the World (Manchester International Festival – Centenary Building, Salford)

  1. Melody McGrath July 17, 2017 / 4:59 pm

    What a fantastic upbeat production that I have been involved in. I never imagined in May just what I was getting into but with my new skills, at the age of 65, a whole new career has opened for me. Balloon making, paper flower bouquet making, folding a headscarf into a great shoulder bag with three small knots – tremendous fun. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the wonderful Janine, Kate, Katies, Nigel, Louise, Sam and oh so many more people that were involved in staging this brilliant piece of theatre. Looking forward to being part of the next spectacle! If you didn’t see it you missed the piece production that Manchester has seen in a long time.

    • kristobel July 17, 2017 / 6:28 pm

      Oh Melody, thank you for your comment. I enjoyed being in the audience for this truly immersive show. For me, Party Skills for the End of the World was a highlight of MIF 2017. Kristy

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